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THE NATURAL THERAPIST'S APPROACH TO HEALTH

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THE NATURAL THERAPIST'S APPROACH TO HEALTH

Natural Therapist's recognise that, if you provide the Body with the right conditions, it will heal itself. The body is a powerful Self Regenerating Organism. It has all of the necessary systems for regeneration, rejuvenation and rebuilding. It also has an extremely efficient Immune System which is capable of fending off the most damaging invaders.




So why is there disease? The very word means that the body is in a state of Dis‑ease. It is certainly not being provided with the optimal conditions that it requires to maintain itself healthily.

Unless you provide it with the right conditions, both mentally, physically and spiritually, it will not function at its optimal level.

The triangle of Mind, Body and Spirit represents the three inseparable components of our being and wellness. None of these factors can be affected without there being an effect on the others. Similarly, you cannot treat one without considering the others. It is, however, fair to say that at a given time it may be appropriate to devote more attention to one area, rather than another. Good health is about good balance, just as homeostasis within the organism is about good balance.

This course is on Nutrition and so we are chiefly concerned with providing the body with the right fuels so that it can remain healthy or return to a state of health.

MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING HEALTH (S‑DACE)

‑ Stress

‑ Digestion

‑ Absorption

‑ Circulation

‑ Elimination

These processes play a major role in determining the wellness of an individual. They are all intimately related an imbalance in one will have an effect on all of the others.

These are always the first things to consider when looking at a person's health

FIVE BASIC CONSIDERATIONS FOR HEALTH

Good Nutrition is fundamental to good physical health. You can not expect to have a healthy body if you choose to run it on junk. Much of the energy that we draw from our food is actually channelled back to service Digestion, Absorption, Circulation and Elimination. The rest of our body energy is used in the process of thinking, working and playing. Unfortunately, in modern society there is another factor which is a crippling drain on bodily resources ‑ this is Stress.

Our cells are the smallest living units of our bodies, and each cell is like a tiny factory. Each cell must be nourished completely and constantly and the waste products efficiently eliminated. If this is not done the cell will either function inefficiently or it will die. Health begins and ends at the cellular level and it is here where we must focus our attention.

Stress is crippling at all levels and a detailed discussion about stress is included as a later chapter. We will now look at the other four components of our model. These will form the basis of our diagnostic and treatment work throughout this course.

Our cells must be fed and cleansed if they are to function efficiently. The first stage in meeting the nutritional requirements of each cell is digestion. Inefficient digestion, which is the breaking down of food into its tiniest components, spells immediate problems. Similarly, if the absorption of these digested foods is not occurring then nutrients cannot get to the cells.

We rely on our blood to carry absorbed nutrients from the digestive system to each cell. If circulation is impaired, this will not happen. Finally, elimination, if the cells are bathed in their own wastes they cannot function, therefore the elimination via the kidneys, skin and bowel is of paramount importance. Later we will learn a procedure of diagnosis which will highlight any areas of dysfunction and what strategies to use for treatment.

THE COST OF PROCESSED FOODS

When we eat processed, low quality foods, we not only don't provide the body with sufficient nutrients, but we also burden it with the more difficult task of eliminating them. From this very simple example you can see how poor quality foods sap our vital energy. There is only so much to go around. Vital energy used in the process of digesting and detoxifying valueless food, and then in eliminating in heavy, fibreless waste, leaves much less energy available for the good things in life. There is also much less energy available for our Immune System and other vital functions. This all contributes to a corresponding reduction in health.

AN ONGOING COMMITMENT TO WELLNESS

Another important concept to consider is that we all should be actively involved in maintaining our health. It is an ongoing process and we must always be increasing our commitment to it. Most people take good health totally for granted ‑ something we are given and don't have to take care of. This is a ridiculous notion, but it is convenient.

By turning a blind eye to our health we have more time for the supposedly important things like making lots of money. That money of course is worthless if we don't have the good health to enjoy it. It is very convenient to hand our health over to somebody else with the demand 'you fix me'.

This is further acknowledgement that we don't want to be responsible about our own health, and this further perpetuates the 'fantasy' of mystery illness Germs that strike you down at random. The Bible has an interesting comment on this. It states that 'the curse causeless shall not come'.

Simply put, this means that No Disease Happens By Accident. So the sooner that we accept responsibility for our health and get with 'healing ourselves', the sooner we will be able to help others with their own healing process.

At present, orthodox medicine is based on an entirely incorrect premise ‑ That illness and disease are separate from you, and that you have no control over these misfortunes. This does not recognise the role of the body's immune system and the powerful self regenerating capacity of the body. Fortunately, this incorrect thinking is changing.

Similarly, the popular view of health and illness is that you are neither one or the other. That is, you are either sick or you are well. The fact is that we are all in varying stages of wellness or unwellness, depending upon which way you look at it.

Illness is the last stage of the problem. You have already ignored the early warning signals of tiredness, failing energy, mental confusion, irritability, indigestion whatever. You haven't been looking after yourself and your body was unable to defend itself against an invader. Or your body has been allowed to slip into a chronic degenerative state. At this point there is little use in trying to attack the invader.

Your state of illness is a sign that your body is run down and not coping. It is virtually waving a red flag and saying 'please look at me, I'm not coping'. The run down state is the cause of the problem, and the disease is the effect.

If you only treat the effect, the problem will occur again, either in this form, or another. You have to identify the problem and provide the body with the right conditions for the body to get on with its own defence and healing.

Consider what takes place if you break your leg. A doctor sets it and it heals. But who does the healing? Not the doctor. But he did provide the body with the right conditions for the body to heal itself.

If you were also provided with good food and the appropriate additional nutrients the task of healing would have been completed even more quickly and efficiently. You would have provided the optimal conditions to rebuild the break.

These points are fundamental to natural healing philosophy. Indeed, this is the only true healing.

WHOLENESS

Health can be defined as 'wholeness'. This means living fully and rhythmically with every part of our being. In ancient times this concept of wholeness was called 'holiness', and it is the real root meaning of the world. Anyone who lives in only part of his or her being becomes unwhole or unholy: in short Unhealthy.

The more we are out of resonance with nature, the more we suffer disease and pain.

WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD DIET

The Caveperson Theory

The lifestyle of the cave person, or ancient Hunter ‑ Gatherer is probably the best example we can use to help us understand our nutritional requirements as human beings. Remember that there has been little change to our bodies (in a genetic or physiological sense) since that time. With the exception of regional changes, our foodstuffs are very similar also.

Nature takes a great deal of time to make changes. Humans, on the other hand, can make radical changes in lifestyle, behaviour and diet, in the space of a generation or two. This is much too fast to expect our bodies, and digestive systems to adjust.

So, what did the hunter gatherers eat? Remember that they have no storage facilities for their food and a limited ability to cook. It's fair to assume that these people ate a very simple diet of fresh food, most of which would have been eaten raw on the spot.

Their's would have been a relatively mono diet. In other words, when they came to an apple tree they probably sat down and ate only apples. Foods would have been eaten in season. Fresh, unsprayed fruit and vegetables are extremely rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C.



No doubt they liked variety, but they would not have had the opportunity to combine as many foods at one sitting as modern man does. With a simple selection of enzyme rich food, their digestive system would have operated superbly. Whenever possibly they probably caught reptiles and small game. This would have been eaten fresh with most of the animal consumed. Meat was an occasional treat rather than the bulk of the diet.

Of course this hypothetically idyllic lifestyle wasn't all roses. Early man had to contend with starvation, predators and accidents which no doubt took a great toll. However, from the dietary perspective his food intake was potentially as near to perfect as you can get.

Other factors contributed greatly to the cave person's health. Plenty of exercise, fresh air and relaxation. We will go into these points later.

The Primitive Diet

Let's examine this primitive diet of the cave person. Firstly his food was gathered fresh. This meant that it was just at the right stage for eating. Hardly comparable with our early picking and artificial ripening techniques which mean that nutrients don't develop fully. Some nutritionists estimate that a fresh organically grown tomato provides around one gram of Vitamin C. The fact is that these days you are lucky to get 50mg (1/20 of a gram) from an artificially ripened and stored tomato. You can see the dramatic difference in the nutritional value of this food according to the growing and harvesting technique.

Fresh food eaten at the right time is also packed with natural Enzymes. Enzymes are the important catalysts for the digestion and metabolism of our food. Food without enzymes is devitalised food. Because enzymes, like many vitamins, are unstable, nearly all are lost in stored fruits and vegetables ‑ the only foods containing enzymes. Already we have a picture of the vast difference in the quality of nutrition between early man and our present day, and we have only just begun.

As a result of vastly improved hygiene and some useful drugs we have conquered the ravages of many of the infectious diseases like small pox and T.B. Thus we are living longer lives. Our problem now is that we are falling victim to Nutritionally related degenerative diseases and Stress. These include Arthritis, Heart Disease, Hypoglycemia, Diabetes and Cancer. Such problems are epidemic and are claiming more people than ever before. Dietary discipline is essential if they are to be overcome.

So why not get with a good diet? After all, these problems are nothing more than a gift, showing us where we are going wrong.

Getting back to our cave person as we've seen his diet was simple with not too much variety at each meal. This meant that his digestive juices were only dealing with a few foods at any one time. There was much less chance of incompatible food combinations. Modern society views our enormous variety of available foods as a sign of affluence. The more varieties the better. This is great for the taste buds, but it is a disaster for the digestive system. Remember that digestion is the first stage in providing the body with fuel to sustain itself. If digestion is not functioning efficiently, you are in trouble.

STORAGE AND COOKING

There were no refrigerators in ancient times, so there was little food storage. Our cave person had only limited opportunity to cook his food. Pots and pans weren't around then, so most of his food was raw and packed with live enzymes. Cooking destroys these enzymes, most enzymes are destroyed at 107 F. The stove is very much the curse of modern man.

RELAXATION

With a few exceptions, our cave person ate his meal in an unhurried and relaxed way. After all, he had little else on his mind. Food was major priority in his life and he was going to enjoy it. In this relaxed state, his Cardio Vascular system would direct the blood supply to his abdomen and digestion was completed efficiently.

There is little comparison here with us today. With the exception of rich, tasty meals, food is truly low priority stuff. Our taste buds are the only consideration. The stressed state that most of us operate in means that there is always some Adrenalin pumping through the system. Thus our blood is directed away from the digestive areas and into the muscles in preparation for all of our little emergencies. This means poor digestion, indigestion, bloating, flatulence and eventual illness. Stress is the greatest killer in society today. The need to address this problem is inseparable from the need for good, fresh, whole food.

PROCESSING AND BOWEL HEALTH

Because of the lack of processing plants, our primitive person's food was eaten whole. He got plenty of fibre. This meant that his bowel was stimulated and his elimination was regular and efficient. In contrast, modern man's elimination is dreadful. Our bowel is the last stage of digestion and absorption of nutrients from our food. Because of the relatively slow passage of chyme through this organ, it is susceptible to accumulation of debris and waste matter.

Refined food provides none of the prickly roughage which is so necessary for regular bowel action. The result is a clogged bowel and the reabsorption of toxins and waste material. No wonder bowel cancer is one of the greatest killers in Western society.

REFINING AND STORAGE

This brings us to yet another major problem processed food, and it's lack of nutritional value. The refining and storage process robs most of the fibre and nutrients from our food. Most of the 'B' vitamins and the precious 'E' vitamins are lost in the processing of wheat and flour. White flour is not only valueless, it is literally poisonous to the body. Similarly, all other processed cereals, fruits and vegetables have lost most of their nutrients and almost all of the very unstable Vitamin C ‑ which is so important that our bodies require it in abundance. It is required in even greater quantities if we live under stress ‑ and who doesn't? The amount of Vitamin C available to us in the average Western diet is often not enough to prevent scurvy, let alone run our bodies efficiently!

So let us summarise these points:

Primitive Man

‑ Ate fresh, ripe, mostly raw foods

‑ He ate them in season only

‑ He ate the whole food ‑ not just part of it

‑ His diet was largely a mono diet

‑ He ate in a relaxed atmosphere

By comparison, Modern Man

Eats almost exclusively of processed, stored and artificially ripened food, grown on artificially fertilised soil and sprayed with poison up to 20 times during the growing season.

He eats anything, at any time, because we have learned how to make most foods readily available through processing and storage.

He eats almost no whole food. It is nearly always the tasty parts of the food only.

He insists on a large variety for taste, because he believes that this is of greater importance than quality.

More often than not, he eats in a hurried and unrelaxed way, and during the few times he sets aside for relaxing and social meals, he drowns them in alcohol, tea and coffee.

SUMMARY

I'm sure you will agree that this scenario paints an awfully dismal picture for our future health. Well, that's quite correct. There is no use running around trying to discover why we have so much 'incurable' disease in our supposedly affluent society, when we can see that we are not doing the one thing that is fundamental to good health ‑ providing our bodies the right conditions (in this case fuel) to heal and maintain themselves.

Many people will only be ready to hear this advice when their pain is great and they are forced to change. This decision to open their mind to new possibilities is the first and most important step in healing themselves. Only when you say 'I want to change' will the healing process begin.

FOODS THAT OUR BODIES REQUIRE

The food that we eat must provide us with sufficient Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat, plus Vitamins, Minerals and Water. Only good quality food will provide enough of these nutrients.

Cakes, pies, pastries, potato chips and sweets are valueless foods. They fill you up to the exclusion of good quality food you must have. So we see that these foods are not only damaging, but that they are actually replacing food that we need to be healthy.



Remember that a body will run on junk food because it is mainly refined carbohydrate or fat or both. These are high energy foods. We can survive quite successfully on them ‑ for a while, but they don't provide sustaining goodness and nutrients and you cannot rebuild or maintain health on 'junk foods'. They 'clog us up' and 'burn us out'.

There are two other dietary components that our bodies require. These are Enzymes and Roughage. Most enzymes are manufactured in our bodies, but many are also provided in the fresh, raw food that we consume.

You will remember that enzymes, catalyse (speed up) chemical reactions within our bodies. The enzymes provided in raw food, like sprouts, greatly assist in the efficient digestion and utilisation of the nutrients from these foods. Remember that digestion is the first process in getting the nutrients contained in our foods to the cells of our body. If this process is not efficient then we cannot get the nutrients that we require.

Enzymes are easily lost through cooking and processing. Please note that it is neither necessary or desirable that all of our food be raw. Some people will fair better on lots of raw food in their diet and others will thrive on more cooked food.

The main points are that generally speaking, our society needs more Vegetables and Fruits and that these foods provide lots of Natural Enzymes that will aid in the utilisation of the nutrients from these foods.

This leads us to the next thing Roughage. Everybody is now aware of the need for more fibre in the diet. This fibrous and bulking content of our food is lost during the refining process. Nature didn't include these 'troublesome rough bits' just to annoy us and make us chew harder.

Manufacturers remove this from our foods because they believe the final product will be tastier and more acceptable to the consumer, but the price we pay for the removal of this fibre and bulk is a sluggish eliminatory system. Without roughage the transit time in our colon is greatly increased. This means that the food can sit there for many hours or days longer than it should. This food putrifies and rots and much of this toxity is reabsorbed back into our body.

OUR AVERAGE REQUIREMENT

Whenever we discuss how much of anything is required we automatically look at an 'average requirement'. Because there is no such thing as an 'average person', this model becomes risky and limiting. If we don't fit into this 'model' what do we do? Is there something wrong with us? Are we different? Yes, that is absolutely correct. We are all different and totally unique, and we all have our own special individual requirements, based on our body type, our previous history, our likes and dislikes. Our job, our stress level and our Energy output.

Biochemical individuality explains why one person can tolerate a particular food and another will be smitten by it. Why one person can smoke all their life and be seemingly unaffected whilst another will die of lung cancer at twenty.

The acceptance of this concept of individuality is very important because it can help us to stop constantly comparing ourselves to others: wondering why it works for them and not for us. If it doesn't work for you it's because it's not right for you!!! You need to stop comparing, be open‑minded and find out what special requirements your body has at any given time, and, if at first you don't succeed try again.

WHY ARE WE SO INDIVIDUAL?

Our individual personalities are moulded largely according to our parental situation and circumstances in the womb and in early childhood. Genetically we are reproduced according to the combined Gene Structure of our parents and we will inherit many of their Genetic and emotional strengths and weaknesses.

OUR GENETIC INHERITANCE

The strength of our bodies is greatly influenced by the emotional and physical wellbeing of our mother during pregnancy. If a mother is under emotional stress or nutritionally deficient at this time it will have a direct result on the foetus. For example, stress initiates the release of many hormones which will cross the placenta and exert and effect on the child. Similarly if her diet was poor or if she smoked or drank alcohol or caffeine this too will affect the foetus.

An alarming and insidious problem which is just surfacing is the toxic effect caused by a mother's amalgam fillings. The poisoning from these substances has been shown to have an even greater impact on the foetus than on the mother. In 1983, one in twelve children was born with a physical abnormality. This is why it is so important to prepare for pregnancy by adopting excellent eating habits, supplements, if necessary, and relaxation.

Having said all this let's look at some 'averages'.

PROTEIN

Protein is our building food. Remember that protein is of primary importance. Our entire bodies are made up of protein. Next to water it is the most abundant substance in the body. It is essential for growth, development and maintenance. Many hormones are produced from protein, as are the cells involved in immunity, and all out of enzymes.

Protein is our major source of heat energy and it can be converted to fat and stored on the body. Proteins are broken down by the digestive process into their basic constituents ‑ Amino Acids. These amino acids are then absorbed and taken to the cells where they are synthesised into more protein, enzymes and constituents that the body requires.

There are around 22 Amino Acids which the body utilises to construct proteins. The body can manufacture all but ten of these ‑ hence their title ‑ essential Amino Acids. We can't produce them and therefore they must be supplied in our food.

LIMITING AMINO ACIDS

All of the required amino acids must be present in our body at the same time and in the right quantity for protein synthesis to occur. If there is one 'essential amino acid' in very short supply, it is termed the limiting Amino Acid. This restricts the quantity of protein that can be synthesised, regardless of how much of the other amino acids are available. If there is a shortage of even one amino acid, protein synthesis will be greatly reduced or may stop altogether.

This is where many vegetarians go wrong ‑ they think they're getting enough protein from lentils or chick peas, but if they are not combined with grains, the legumes will be synthesised as carbohydrate not protein. The general rule of thumb is:

Animal protein is complete protein. It contains all of the essential amino acids. This includes meat, chicken, fish, dairy products and eggs.

These animal source proteins are also the only reliable source of Vitamin B12. The down side is that they have no fibre whatsoever and often contain large amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.

All vegetables and fruits are incomplete proteins. These are foods which are very low in one or more of the essential amino acids. Nuts, seeds, legumes and grains vary in their protein content. Some of these are quite rich in protein, for example the nuts and legumes (beans), especially soy beans.

The difficulty in relying on these foods exclusively as a protein source is that large quantities need to be consumed to ensure that sufficient of the limiting amino acids are provided. Beans are reasonably safe in this respect, however the intake of large amounts of nuts and seeds is 'not on'. Squirrels do well on lots of nuts, but humans don't.

The answer to the problem of complete proteins from 'other than animal sources', is to combine foods in the right way so as to compensate for their individual limitations.

Remember that proteins from these non‑animal sources will still lack Vitamin B12. This must be provided in a supplement if some animal produce isn't going to be consumed.

It is not my desire to promote the exploitation of animals for food or any other reason (quite the contrary), however remember that most of us were raised on these animal foods, as were our forebearers for many generations, and most of us still require some complete animal source proteins to remain healthy. This may indeed be the case for many of us for the rest of our lives, but hopefully over the years we will be able to wean our bodies onto a finer regime involving little or no animal foods, but for now we must look after our bodies and provide what they need now, or our well‑being and consequently our 'life force' will thwart.

On the other hand, excess protein is undesirable and leads to acid conditions with excess ureas in the tissues. This is the primary cause of many degenerative diseases, especially inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. A protein deficiency will result in low energy and stamina, poor resistance to infection, weakness, mental depression, slow healing of wounds and prolonged recovery from illness.

Physical and mental stresses increase our requirement for protein.

SO HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO WE NEED?

The old 'rule of thumb' which still persists amonst many orthodox practitioners, is around 70 grams of protein a day. This is really excessive! All of the latest and most thorough research has concluded that these large amounts of protein were not required, and indeed are quite damaging. Most state a better amount would be around 20‑30 grams per day. Note that this is less than half of what was originally estimated. Much of this evidence also suggests that combined vegetable proteins are of a superior quality to animal proteins. Therefore your daily protein requirement should, ideally, be provided by vegetable sources with small amounts of animal or dairy sources at least a few times a week.



There are many people who are at the extreme ends of these figures. By this I mean people who eat far too little protein and those who eat far too much.

A great deal of publicity is given to the need to reduce our intake of meat and animal products and protein generally. To an extent this is true. Many people who are interested in their health decide that protein should be avoided at all costs ‑ so they give up meat. Around the same time they hear that eggs are dangerous because they're full of cholesterol ‑ so they stop eating eggs. They hear that dairy products cause excess mucous production ‑ so they cut all that out ‑ and they get very sick! Nobody told them that you can't live without sufficient protein. The very word Protein means 'of primary importance' ‑ and it is exactly that.

Still others munch away on their fried bacon and eggs for breakfast, their sausage roll for morning tea, their ham and cheese sandwich for lunch and their steak and mashed potato for dinner ‑ and they succumb to one of the multitude of degenerative diseases that plague our society.

The message is moderation and balance.

Fanaticism, in either direction, doesn't work!

SUMMARY

Animal source protein is always complete and will provide Vitamin B12. Disadvantages include high fat and cholesterol, pollutants, lack of fibre and the often incredibly inhuman treatment of animals. Excessive consumption of animal protein leads to an acid constitution of the tissues.

Vegetable source protein must be combined if it is to be a reliable source of the essential amino acids. Used this way it is high quality protein, low in fat and containing lots of fibre. Disadvantages is that it may not provide enough protein for some people. A major problem for many people is a lack of knowledge and commitment to effective food protein combinations. Finally it lacks Vitamin B12. A diet of mainly combined vegetable source protein with small amounts of animal source protein (e.g. a vegetarian who eats some dairy and eggs and occasionally small amounts of fish) seems to work best for most people.

CARBOHYDRATES

These are our most readily available source of energy. They are the primary foods for producing heat and energy within our bodies. Carbohydrates include starches, cellulose, pectins and gums. All these are reduced to simple sugars (monosaccharides) by our digestive processes. This end process (simple sugars/glucose) is used as fuel to the brain, nervous tissues, muscles and other processes. Any excess is converted into fat and stored in the tissues. The refining of carbohydrates makes them even more available to the body ‑ they are digested and absorbed far too quickly which causes problems with the body's sugar economy and will probably wind up as hypoglycemia and possibly diabetes. Apart from being stripped of their fibre, refined carbohydrates lose nearly all of their B vitamins, Vitamin E, and minerals. They become indigestible, valueless and constipating.

Complex Carbohydrates should be supplied in abundance. That means lots of vegetables and fruit, preferably raw. There is virtually no limit to the amount of vegetables that we can incorporate into daily eating. Fruit consumption should also be much higher, however some limitations do apply. About 2‑4 pieces of fruit per day is enough for most people, less if you're handling a Candida or hypoglycemia problem more on that later.

Generally, everyone should incorporate more preferably unsprayed, fresh vegetables and fruit in their diet.

FATS

Fats or Lipids are the most concentrated source of energy in our diet. They are used as a source of energy, and as building and for structural molecules. They provide the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,F and K. One gram of fat will yield some 9 calories of energy to the body. Whilst the energy yield from fat is high, it is not an efficient fuel, and must not be relied upon as the major energy food.

Fatty Acids are the building blocks of fats. Saturated Fatty Acids ‑ those from animal sources only, are usually hard at room temperature. Unsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats ‑ mainly from vegetables, nut and seed sources, are usually liquid at room temperature.

Remember that cholesterol is a lipid and is often supplied with fats and oils. It is a component of all cell membranes and is a major component of brain tissue, nerve tissue, the liver and the blood. It is the precursor of steroid hormones (mainly adrenal and sex hormones) and is needed for Vitamin D synthesis and the production of bile from the liver.

Cholesterol is vitally important to the functioning of the human body. However most of the cholesterol that we need is manufactured by the liver (about 85%). We only require a small amount from dietary sources. Excessive dietary cholesterol will contribute to blocking and hardening of the arteries and blood vessels and may lead to fatal circulatory disorders. High cholesterol foods including eggs, meats, shellfish and saturated foods must be consumed in great moderation.

There are two essential fatty acids which the body cannot produce. These are known as Vitamin F, and are Linoleic Acid and Arachidonic Acid. These unsaturated fatty acids are essential for normal growth and for healthy nerves, blood and arteries. They are needed for healthy skin and prevent dryness and scaliness.

FATS FROM OUR DIET

Ideally, fats should be obtained by the moderate consumption of foods containing good quality sources of uncooked oils. This will include nuts, (not peanuts), whole grains, avocados and fish. The polyunsaturated fats from vegetable sources are considered the most desirable.

Oils obtained from eating fish have a very favourable ratio of high density to low density lipoproteins and contain much of the essential fatty acids. One of the best oils is Olive Oil. It has a suitable balance of saturated and polyunsaturated fats and suffers the least damage from cooking. It is essential that oils be stored in a cool place, in a sealed container away from heat and light. Oils oxidise quickly and go rancid.

Protection against this oxidisation is afforded by the natural Vitamin E in oils. Vitamin E is a natural anti‑oxidant present in most fat containing foods. Some processors of polyunsaturated oils remove the Vitamin E during processing, which means that the oil is extremely susceptible to rancidity and rob your body of Vitamin E upon ingestion. The best advice is to obtain your fats from natural, whole food sources with the occasional addition of cold pressed, uncooked vegetable oils.

Don't fry anything if you can help it ‑ it changes the molecular structure of foods and renders them potentially very harmful to the body. If you really need to cook something in oil, use only a small amount of Olive Oil and cook at a low temperature. Get into the habit of sauteeing whatever it is you would normally fry in a little water or tomato juice, or grill, bake, or steam. Never reheat used oils!

Oils are essential to our bodies the problem is that we usually eat the wrong type and too much of it! Get yours from Almonds, Avocados, sunflower and sesame seeds. You will also obtain some from fish, cheese, eggs and olive oil.

A WORD ON BUTTER AND EGGS

I am in favour of including a small amount of butter in the diet. It is a valuable source of Oils and Vitamin A and is quite safe if used sparingly. Margarine is an artificial product containing many additives and is not recommended.

Eggs are high in cholesterol but they are also high in Lecithin. Lecithin is a brilliant biological detergent capable of emulsifying fats. Nature has included lecithin in the egg so as to deal with the high cholesterol content. Eggs are best eaten soft boiled or poached ‑ cooking them until the yolk is hard will bind the lecithin and render it unavailable to the body to emulsify the cholesterol. The occasional egg in the diet is a rich source of protein and nutrients. One to two eggs per week is a safe limit. Up to five per week may be needed in a vegetarian diet. Eggs are high on the list of food intolerances. If eggs upset you or leave you feeling a little ill, avoid them.

A simple, but effective guide is:‑

20% complete protein (preferably combined vegetable plus animal)

80% vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds






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